janis

Janis Joplin, Opinions on Kanye West & Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Janis Joplin was known for her iconic singing voice, gregarious image and refusal to conform. But behind her chill, blues mama persona was an intellectual, intentional artist. Jim and Greg discuss the life and career of Janis Joplin with author and biographer Holly George-Warren. They talk about the legacy of Joplin's music and identity almost 50 years after her tragic death. Jim and Greg will also review new albums from Kanye West and Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

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reviewKanye

Kanye West Jesus Is King

Kanye West is back with the highly anticipated album, Jesus Is King. According to Greg, lately Kanye has been making more headlines for his proclamations than his music. This album has been the subject of scrutiny, however, because it marks a stylistic turn. A gospel and hip hop hybrid, Greg notes that Kanye is "very earnest in his use of the gospel signifiers on this record, the gospel choirs, the churchy keyboard chords." Even contemporary gospel legend Fred Hammond features on the track "Hands On." Jim agrees that the gospel production and even messaging in this album seems to be coming from an authentic place. They both are quick to acknowledge that Kanye has a long history of folding gospel sensibilities into his music (particularly on tracks like "Jesus Walks" and "Ultralight Beam.") Though both Jim and Greg acknowledge that“only Kanye”could come up with the idea to merge The Clipse and Kenny G on the same track "(Use This Gospel)," Greg laments that the album seems unfinished and asks "where is the work of art like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?" Jim suggests that Kanye, like John Lennon in his early Plastic Ono Band period, "not thinking about Beatles perfection… letting it blurt." Ultimately, Jim thinks that this album is the best Kanye has given us in some time, while Greg thinks that though Kanye is on the“Road To Damascus,”(an allusion to the prophet Paul's religious conversion on the Road To Damascus) "… he hasn't gotten there yet."

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reviewNeil Young with Crazy Horse

Review: Neil Young with Crazy Horse Colorado

On Neil Young's 39th studio album and first with Crazy Horse in seven years, there's a directness to the lyrics that Greg calls nearly unprecedented in his career. The lyrical urgency is spurred on by Young's concern over climate change. Jim and Greg agree that the earnestness produces a few cringe-worthy lyrics, but also appreciate the lack of self-consciousness he brings to the songs.

Musically Young and his long-time rock collaborators in Crazy Horse pick up right where they left off, chiseling away at the one epic rock they always have, as Greg puts it. He says he lives for the guitar solos on tracks like "She Showed Me Love." Jim also appreciates the quieter acoustic songs on the album, citing "I Do" as a beautiful love song. He suggests that a few songs from Colorado could be paired with a handful from each of Young's recent albums to make a nice companion to his Decade compilation.

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interview

Holly George-Warren on Janis Joplin

janis It's been over 50 years since Janis Joplin first shocked the music world with her soulful voice, energetic stage presence and unabashed sense of self. And unfortunately, a lot about Janis's life has been sensationalized because of her seemingly meteoric rise to fame and subsequent tragic death at age 27 from a drug overdose. But behind that carefree, blues mama persona was an intellectual, hard working and intentional artist.

This week, Jim and Greg talk to music journalist Holly George-Warren, author of the new book Janis: Her Life and Music. It's a fascinating read and is full of letters, documents and interviews that help get to the core of who Janis Joplin really was. They talk about the legacy of Joplin's music and identity almost 50 years after her tragic death.

Featured Songs

  1. Janis Joplin, Cry Baby, Pearl, Columbia, 1971
  2. Janis Joplin, Mercedes Benz, Pearl, Columbia, 1971
  3. Kanye West, Every Hour (feat. Sunday Service Choir), Jesus Is King, GOOD/Def Jam, 2019
  4. Kanye West, Selah, Jesus Is King, GOOD/Def Jam, 2019
  5. Kanye West, Hands On (feat. Fred Hammond), Jesus Is King, GOOD/Def Jam, 2019
  6. Kanye West, Follow God, Jesus Is King, GOOD/Def Jam, 2019
  7. Kanye West, Use This Gospel (feat. Clipse & Kenny G), Jesus Is King, GOOD/Def Jam, 2019
  8. Neil Young With Crazy Horse, Help Me Lose My Mind, Colorado, Reprise, 2019
  9. Neil Young With Crazy Horse, Shut It Down, Colorado, Reprise, 2019
  10. Neil Young With Crazy Horse, She Showed Me Love, Colorado, Reprise, 2019
  11. Neil Young With Crazy Horse, Green Is Blue, Colorado, Reprise, 2019
  12. Neil Young With Crazy Horse, I Do, Colorado, Reprise, 2019
  13. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Piece of My Heart, Cheap Thrills, Columbia, 1968
  14. Bessie Smith, St. Louis Blues (feat. Louis Armstrong), St. Louis Blues (Single), Columbia, 1925
  15. Janis Joplin & the Waller Creek Boys, St. James Infirmary (Live in 1962), N/A, N/A, 1962
  16. Janis Joplin, What Good Can Drinkin' Do (Live in 1962), N/A, N/A, 1962
  17. Janis Joplin, Kansas City Blues (At Jorma Kaukonen's house, 1964), The Early Years, 1963-1965 (Hd Remastered Edition), Resurfaced, 1964
  18. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Intruder, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Mainstream, 1967
  19. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Down on Me, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Mainstream, 1967
  20. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Ball and Chain (Live at Monterey Pop Festival 1967), Cheap Thrills, Columbia, 1968
  21. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Combination of the Two, Cheap Thrills, Columbia, 1968
  22. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Call on Me, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Mainstream, 1967
  23. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Bye, Bye Baby, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Mainstream, 1967
  24. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Summertime, Cheap Thrills, Columbia, 1968
  25. Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue, Little Girl Blue / Jazz as Played in an Exclusive Side Street Club, Bethlehem, 1959
  26. Janis Joplin, Little Girl Blue, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, Columbia, 1969
  27. Janis Joplin, One Good Man, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, Columbia, 1969
  28. Janis Joplin, Maybe, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, Columbia, 1969
  29. Janis Joplin, Kozmic Blues, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, Columbia, 1969
  30. Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee, Pearl, Columbia, 1971
  31. Sylvan Esso, Radio, What Now, Loma Vista, 2017
  32. Marianne Faithfull, I'd Like To Dial Your Number, Marianne Faithfull, Decca, 1965
  33. Devo, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Warner Bros, 1978
  34. Talking Heads, This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody), Stop Making Sense (Special New Edition), Sire, 1999
  35. Ramones, Judy Is A Punk, Ramones, Sire, 1976
  36. Clinic, Walking With Thee, Walking With Thee, Domino, 2002 "1. Red Knuckles And The Trailblazers, ""Honky Tonk Song (Live At The Left Hand Grange Hall, Niwot, CO 1982),""
    Hot Rize Presents Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers / Hot Rize In Concert (Live), Rounder, 1984" "1. Here Come the Mummies, "Ra Ra Ra, " Terrifying Funk From Beyond the Grave, Sphinxter, 2002"
  37. Leikeli47, Attitude, Wash & Set, RCA, 2017